I always believe and recommend to my friends and family members that if they have niche subject knowledge or expertise then they must start a consulting business.
A consulting business required zero or minimum capital and you can do it with your current job as well and not require to leave your current job.
If you don’t have the required knowledge or expertise to solve the problems or pain areas of the client and you keep taking work from your client that you can’t deliver. In a few months, your consulting business can be closed when your client stops coming and give negative feedback in the market.
If you have subject expertise and good experience in marketing, sales, HR, construction business, hiring, compliance, or process management etc then you can start a consulting business.
The people make some silly mistakes in consulting business that you should avoid when you are in consulting business, like
- Charging high fee in initial days of business
- Accepting any work whichever comes without your experience on subject knowledge
- False promises to clients
- Late delivery of project
- Not delivering the project on time
- Bad quality work
9 Easy Steps: How to Start a Consulting Business
#1. Find Your Expertise Area
As said earlier, you must have the subject knowledge, expertise, and experience in a particular niche to start a consulting business.
You must ask yourself the following questions to know your niche expertise area
- What is your interest area (For me, it’s legal compliances)
- Areas where you are really good at
- The subject where your friend and family members come to you for help
- Subject in which you have professional experience or expertise
In some areas, you would require a professional qualification or a degree/ certificate to start a consulting business. For example, if you want to be a law consultant then you must have an LLB Degree from a recognized college/university.
And, you are offering consulting services on Interior Designing then you need to be a B.Tech/B.E. in Architecture or something similar to it.
#2. Types of Consulting Business
Firstly, select one of the areas from the below list and let know in the comment box your interest area. Let me know in the comments if I missed something that you are interested in.
- Management Consulting
- Strategy Consulting
- Operations Consulting
- Financial Advisory Consulting
- HR Consulting
- Compliance Consulting
- Corporate Consulting
- IT Consulting
- Environmental Consulting
- Sales & Marketing Consulting
- Interior Designing Consulting
- PR Consulting
- eCommerce Consulting
- Construction Consulting
- Retail Consulting
- UI/UX Consulting
- Digital Marketing Consultants
- Branding Consulting
- Social Media Consulting
- Coaching Consulting
- Health and Wellness Consulting
- Stress Management Consulting
Let us move to the next step if you have identified your niche area for your consulting business
#3. Build Expertise in One Area in Your Niche
Once you have selected your niche or interest area, then the next step should be building the expertise in your selected niche. You must keep in mind that it is all most impossible to become an expert in all niches and offer all services to clients.
In the consulting business, one who claims to be an expert in all areas isn’t considered an expert. If you have niche business consulting expertise then you can do wonders in your consulting business and can really office the best solution to the clients.
In other words, You can build strong credibility, authenticity, and reputation among clients if you have strong expertise in one segment.
#4. Know the Value of Your Work
You may have some confusion in an early stage of your consulting business and it is natural to have confusion. And there are some valid questions that come to our minds.
- Who would ever pay me for my services?
- What is the value of my service?
- If the client says no? What to do?
- What if I don’t get enough clients?
If you have clarity on the effectiveness of your outcomes you can set a good price for your consulting business. I have seen clients agree to pay a good price to get their pain area solved. I can say confidently from my own experience that if you can deliver a valuable outcome then the client is happy to pay a premium price for it.
#5. You Must have Clarity on You Deliverables
Your first client is like a dream come true, but before you start for searching clients in the market you should have complete clarity on your service deliverables.
The expertise to deliver great results is what separates successful consulting businesses from those that simply fade away. As a consultant, your job is to deliver great results and there is no room for complacency here.
You have to make sure that you deliver whatever you have promised to your client because this will help you in getting and earning a good market reputation and future business from potential clients.
Delivering good results is accomplished by emphasizing on below six key areas;
- Planning and organization,
- Acting on tasks
- Achieving results,
Most of the consulting business gets fade away due to over-commitment and less delivery to the client. In other words, You can make the difference by sticking to delivering what you commit.
In conclusion, Consulting business is an excellent opportunity for experienced and subject expert people who want to generate extra income and want a flexible time.
Starting a consulting business is profitable as it requires less capital, there is a demand for certified consultants with the right skills. The best part is that you can start the business right from the comfort of your home.